GO Train Downtown Blur

Shortlist of bidders announced for historic GO Expansion

The country’s most important regional mass transit system is now on course for major changes.

May 30, 2019

Metrolinx and Infrastructure Ontario have officially announced the shortlist of international bidders who will move into the next stage of procurement that will bring critical improvements to GO rail.

The release of the names on May 30 begins an important stage in the evolution of GO Expansion across the Greater Golden Horseshoe Region.

The four international teams shortlisted to bid on the GO Rail Expansion Program are EnTransit, MTR Kiewit Partners, Oncore Transit, and ONxpress Transportation Partners.

GO train running along the Lakeshore West Line next to the gardiner

While customers may not recognize the names, or believe the news seems like a bit of formal paperwork, it actually signals an important step forward in advances to services virtually every GO train user will one day recognize.

Think of it as a starter’s pistol for ideas on the evolution of GO rail – and regular journeys for our increasing number of customers.

Metrolinx has committed to constantly improving transit for customers.

Now, the work behind expansion of GO Transit has received a boost with the release of the shortlist. There’s new energy, and an exciting future of possibilities those bidders may come up with.

“We are passionate about connecting communities, and even more excited about the private sector partnerships that are being developed to ensure we have the right technological solution that will enable people to get where they want to go faster and easier,” said Metrolinx President and CEO Phil Verster.

“We are delivering improved transit right now, and we are excited for what the future holds to connect people to where they live, work and play.”

Thanks to a huge investment in infrastructure, Metrolinx is working to quadruple GO Rail service and connect people to new transit lines.

people on a train platform at Union Station

It’s a big job, and you’re already noticing the difference – with more to now come.

To get people moving we are actively building and upgrading existing stations, adding new track, building and opening new maintenance and storage facilities, expanding and revitalizing bridges around our region and improving pedestrian connections. We are moving forward with transit-oriented development opportunities to add more stations to our growing network to bring transit closer to where people live.

We are well on our way to delivering the capital infrastructure needed to provide even more service to our region. Here are some of the major projects now underway:

  • 8 stations under construction.
  • 90 per cent of the second track on the Stouffville line completed
  • 6 century-old bridges on the Lakeshore West line revitalized
  • 2 new stations recently opened – Downsview Park and Gormley

While we build, we have also been increasing service on our existing GO transit lines, and UP Express, and are making it easier for customers to use our service through the use of the PRESTO Card and other customer initiatives. These have contributed to our total network ridership growing by 5.3 per cent, reaching 76.2 million customers by the end of March 2019.

All of this is being done while we are also planning for the connections to new transit lines, which will transform the way people travel across our region – allowing customers to use the network in ways that will improve their journey.

And our future is on the way. Our OnCorridor Works project is the next stage in the GO Rail Expansion Program and will be delivered in partnership with Infrastructure Ontario. It is a 35-year Private-Public Partnership (P3) contract to Design, Build, Finance, Operate and Maintain (DBFOM) the infrastructure and technology required to deliver future service levels on the GO Transit rail network. Through this process the government will continue to maintain ownership of the network.

Metrolinx President and CEO, Phil Verster explains more about this historic GO Expansion investment. (Metrolinx image)

“We have strong teams bidding on the project combining proven international and local experience. We look forward to seeing their innovative proposals to build and operate the GO Rail Expansion program for the benefit of the entire region,” said Infrastructure Ontario President and CEO Ehren Cory.

The GO Rail Expansion program will introduce faster, more efficient trains that will be up to 29 per cent faster than the current GO Transit fleet – which means more travel choices and more time for the things that matter for commuters and people who rely on transit.

Investing in GO Transit supports economic growth and prosperity by creating new jobs in the transport sector and by making the GTHA a more attractive place to invest and do business.

More efficient trains will be up to 60 per cent cheaper to operate, which will reduce the need for government to subsidize Metrolinx.

The GO Rail Expansion program will transform the GO Transit rail network into a comprehensive, all-day rapid transit system, which will provide customers with better, faster and easier service.

For more information about the process please visit Infrastructure Ontario.

by Kelly Hagan Metrolinx acting director, capital communications